Oakland Raiders left tackle Donald Penn returned to the field in Week 1, rejoining one of the most talented offensive lines in the league. Penn recently went through a 26-day holdout this past summer, looking to be paid as one of the top tackles in the league. While no new deal has been signed as of yet, reports indicated that both sides are closing in on a two-year extension that may be finalized by the end of this week.
Penn admitted to being nervous heading into the team’s game against the Tennessee Titans. According to Scott Bair of NBC sports, the 34-year-old left tackle admitted he was concerned about his conditioning after working out with the team:
I’m not going to lie to you. I was worried going into the game,” Penn said. “I played a couple snaps in that Dallas game and I was pushing myself extra hard in practice because I really didn’t know (how I’d react to a full workload). We had a plan just in case I needed a blow. I took an IV before the game, which is something I usually don’t do. I tried to be proactive. Once the game started flowing, I was surprised about how good of shape I was in.”
Barring a single missed block against defensive end Jurrell Casey, Penn looked like his usual self in the Raiders’ 26-16 win over the Titans. Along with teammates Kelechi Osemele and Rodney Houston, the offensive front has proven to be vital to Oakland’s success and should remain among the league’s elite during the 2017 NFL season.
The Raiders still have a long road ahead of them after opening their season with a win. Penn and the Raiders will look to keep their momentum going against the New York Jets this Week 2 at Oakland.